Wisconsin has once again posted the largest gap in the nation between graduation rates for white and black high school students – 25.7 percentage points – according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education released today.
In Wisconsin, the white graduation rate was 92.7 percent, compared to the black graduation rate of 67 percent. In the new report, there were no states where the African-American graduation rate exceeded the white rate. However, in Hawaii, the racial gap between blacks and whites was only one percentage point.
“The latest data released by the Department of Education shows that Wisconsin is not only behind the rest of the nation for racial equity in our education systems, but we are last,” State Rep. Shelia Stubbs tells Madison365. “This is unacceptable and fails Wisconsin’s students and families. We can no longer accept this as normal and fulfill education’s promise to be a great equalizer. From hiring more black teachers to expanding early childhood education, Wisconsin must do better.”
The data also showed that nationwide 77.8 percent of black students who entered grade 9 in the fall of 2013 earned a traditional high school diploma in the traditional four-year time period ending in the spring of 2017. For whites, 88.6 percent of students earned their high school diploma in four years.
The highest black student high school graduation rate was in the state of Alabama where 86.5 percent of black students graduated within four years, compared to 91 percent of white students. In Texas, 86.1 percent of black students earned their high school diploma in the traditional four-year period compared to 93.6 percent of white students. Maryland was the only other state that had a black student graduation rate above 85 percent.
The lowest high school graduation rate for African Americans was in Minnesota where 64 percent of black students graduated from high school within four years. Other states where African-American high school graduation rate was below 70 percent include Wisconsin (67 percent), Oregon, Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada, and Michigan.